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cartoon depicting the drama which goes on in Dominica house of assembly

Editor’s note:This is a guest post from Danielle Edwards – a Literature and History student and an aspiring Journalist.

In another one of her dramatic attempts to instill order in the House of Assembly, our Speaker of the House mistook the evil umbrella of an unsuspecting journalist for a microphone. She subsequently had him escorted out of the House by a law enforcement officer-turned-modern day Joan of Arc. What a menacing umbrella that must have been, for the Speaker is notorious for her fearlessness! I dare say it must be taken to court for obstructing parliament.

I am even more struck by its bewitching paranormal qualities, at how magnificently it was able to disguise itself as a microphone on a RAINY DAY! I think that the most rational explanation to this is that this journalist is a warlock who was unable to conceal his mystical powers! Wouldn’t you agree that the House of Parliament needs a fine dose of Holy Water?

More importantly, I am deeply concerned about the probable repercussions that this glaringly petty incident and other similar ones which preceded it may have on the future of Women and Power in Dominica, and even the rest of the Caribbean.

It’s no secret that too many of our highly educated female leaders have sullied the track record of ‘the weaker sex’ in political, social and international affairs. I personally feel that it was ultimately inevitable that the 2008 Democratic nominee in U.S.A. would have been a Black man instead of a White woman. Why should anyone be surprised that a in a society where, just 53 years ago a black woman who refused to shift to the back of the bus to give a white passenger her seat was arrested- a Black man may soon be elected to the White House. It appears that most Americans feel Mrs. Hillary Clinton does not fit the profile of Commander-in-Chief to the World’s strongest army. Do I smell male chauvinism?

If so, it is not unwarranted. Even an intelligent Oxford graduate like Indira Gandhi is guilty of stifling democracy in India in her selfish lust for power. She has been hated by many for destroying the Indian economy while exercising blatant corruption and nepotism, while conveniently censoring the press. Great Britain has also had its fair share of womanly leadership- the dealings of the administration of Baroness Thatcher with the late Saddam Hussein are well known.

My point is that women in positions of authority ought to practice twice the amount of discretion as men in similar positions. This must be a subconscious duty, not merely to eliminate the stigma against female leaders, but to also build a fortress of patronage for their heiresses. If they continue not to, more of our male counterparts will continue to feel ‘woman doesn’t know her place’ and ‘woman too damn up’. And less of our Women will be able to progress and break gender barriers. I certainly feel that if the Speaker of the House had been a Man- whether red, blue or green, this ridiculous incident, and many others before it, would not have occurred.

Every Dominican is aware that our women have a reputation for being cantankerous lovers of ‘roe-roe’ and drama. If you are not, be sure to look at the next local Carnival Queen Show- or any other local pageant for that matter. Is the Speaker of the House not simply reinforcing this stupid stereotype with her preposterous and absurd behaviour?

I think she needs to ‘step up her game’.

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